The Independent Electoral Commission has received Shs15.7 billion from the ministry of finance to organize local council (LC) elections, an exercise that has been in abeyance for the last 15 years.
Appearing before parliamentary and legal affairs committee this morning, EC Chairperson Justice Simon Byabakama Mugenyi acknowledged receiving the money and said it would enable the electoral body to organize the LC I, II and women council elections.
Further, he said, the commission has embarked on the program and will inform Ugandans how the elections will be conducted.
Last week, while appearing before parliamentary legal and affairs committee chaired by Jacob Oboth, the minister of finance, planning and economic development, Matia Kasaijja assured the committee members that the government had sourced funds for EC to conduct LC I and II elections in the next quarter of this financial year.
LC I elections were last conducted in 2001 and since then the government failed to conduct them for the three electoral cycles in 2006, 2011 and 2016 reportedly due to lack of funds.
In a related development, early this year the EC requested for over Shs37 billion to organize LC I and II elections but the ministry of finance allocated them Shs15 billion, with the argument that there is no need to ballot papers for the lower level kind of elections.
However, at the time the same funds were diverted to the ministry of disaster preparedness to cater for food in areas that were affected by famine and drought.